|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Liliana Cavani, 1989)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Karol Film
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,494,981,524 bytes
Feature Size: 40,402,335,744 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: September 1st, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3073 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3073 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Cannes Film Festival Conference (4:15)
• Theatrical Trailers (Francesco - 1:48) and others by Film Movement
16-page booklet with color photos, essays by Liliana Cavani and critic Aaron Hills and credits
Description: Based on Francis of Assisi by Herman Hesse, FRANCESCO depicts the life and times of St. Francis of Assisi and the rise of the Franciscan order that he founded. Following his death, his devoted followers recall the life of Francesco and chart his transformation from the pampered son of an aristocrat into a selfless man of faith devoted wholly to a life of apostolic poverty. Directed by Italian auteur Liliana Cavani (The Night Porter), and starring Academy Award-nominees Mickey Rourke as Saint Francis of Assisi, and Helena Bonham Carter as Saint Claire, Francesco paints an intimate portrait of one of the most beloved, influential and complex figures in the history of religion and civilization.
The Film:Told in flashback, the film relates Francis of Assisi's evolution from rich man's son to religious humanitarian and eventually to full-fledged saint. Francesco was based on Hermann Hesse's Francis of Assisi, which director Liliana Cavani had previously filmed in 1966. The Saint and founder of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor is played by Mickey Rourke, and his inspiration, the woman who later became Saint Clare, is played by Helena Bonham Carter. Raised as the pampered son of a merchant, Francis goes off to war only to return with a profound horror for the society which generated such suffering. In one scene, as an act of renunciation, he strips himself of his fine clothing in front of his father and leaves the house naked and barefoot, joining the lepers and beggars in the poor section of town. The film follows with a series of episodes from the saint's life rather than a coherent narrative, following up until his final days when he receives the stigmata, or wounds similar to those on the body of Jesus at the crucifixion. Excerp from MRQE located HERE
Europe is entering its Berlitz era of movie making. Language
in the form of demotic speech is at the barricades.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Francesco is transferred to a dual-layered Blu-ray with a high bitrate, via Film Movement. The 2 1/4 hour feature is one of five different version/running times. This is considered the 'International version' - the second longest after the Italian cut which is about another 22-minutes longer. But this is longer than we have seen in North America. This is in 1080P and in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It looks a bit thin and flat and you can see high-frequency edge-enhancement halos in a couple of spots if you zoom in (SEE HERE and below). The presentation isn't overly affected by this (depending on your sensitivity to it) and colors have a rich edge, there appears to be texture - and detail is respectable if not crystal clear. I saw minor background noise. This Blu-ray, gave me a an imperfect, presentation but the flaws were less-noticeable in-motion.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Film Movement give the option of a linear PCM 2.0 track at 2304 kbps or a more robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3073 kbps (both 24-bit) in the original English language. I only noted a few surround instances but the audio would be memorable for the score by Vangelis (Alexander, Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire etc.) and this certainly adds some flavor to the viewing experience if more subtle than we have experienced previously from the composer. It sounds quite rich with his synthy-epic-feel in the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Not too much - the brief, unsubtitled, Cannes Film Festival Conference with principals and a bunch of 'Film Movement product' theatrical trailers including one for Francesco. No discussion which the film may warrant, but there is a 16-page booklet with photos, and essays by Liliana Cavani and critic Aaron Hills (Brooklyn Magazine).
September 16th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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